Monday, June 9, 2014

What being a global citizen means

Being a global citizen is something I understand a little bit more after my trip abroad. Before going abroad, I didn't quite understand the importance of global citizenship, and how big of an impact global citizens can have. When I began doing my research for this blog, I simply looked up the definition of "global citizen". What I found was that a global citizen is someone who identifies with being part of an emerging world community and whose actions contribute  to building that community's values and practices. We as humans form communities based on shared identities. These identities come from the needs we have, such as economic, political, religious, and social needs. Modern technology and information made available to us is in large part the reason that global citizenship is so huge today. Increasing strength of technologies are enabling global citizens to connect to the rest of the world more easily. Being a global citizen does not mean that you are abandoning your other identities, such as allegiances to your country, ethnicity, or political beliefs. Being a global citizen gives meaning to our lives, and also adds an additional layer of responsibility. We are all responsible for helping in the building of a sustainable values-based world community. These values may include human rights, environmental protection, religious pluralism, gender equity, sustainable world wide economic growth, poverty alleviation, elimination of war and mass destruction, and more. 

Being a global citizen means you could participate in things such as advocating for policy and programmatic solutions that address global problems, participating in the decision making processes, adopting and promoting changes that help protect the earth's environment, and organizing events to celebrate the world's diversity. After traveling abroad, I now feel more connected to my global identity, and am going to strive to improve the world in any way I can. This could even be possible by improving my own knowledge of other cultures! 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Social Responsibility

What is social responsibility? Well it is defined as an ethical theory that an entity, be it an organization or an individual, has an obligation to act to benefit society at large.  Social responsibility is a duty everyone has to help maintain a balance between the economy and the ecosystems.  As a nation, I think America has a social responsibility to not only focus on our success, but the success of other nations around the world.  It is also the other nation's job to help us become successful and stay that way.  I believe that is one of the reasons that America has gotten involved and helped when other countries have been in need around the globe.  It is our job, and social responsibility, to better other societies around us.  It was our social responsibility as students traveling abroad to act in a way that made not just our town and our college look good, but America as a whole also.  There have been many of my classmates blog about the bad reputations that us as Americans have while traveling abroad, and i believe that the people that got us those reputations failed to do fulfill their social responsibility.  Instead of going into a foreign country and making it better and giving them a better view of America, they gave a bad reputation to American tourists and caused those that come after them problems.  One of the social responsibilities I found people of London to be lacking in was the smoking area. While abroad I really noticed that people smoked everywhere! And this damages their social responsibility in the way that by buying the tobacco products, they are promoting them, and as we know tobacco damages our environment an also the people who use it. 
After returning home, I now understand that we all have a social responsibility while traveling and while at home. Depending on what you're in support of, you can buy products made it other countries or only made in America, smoke tobacco products, or protest against them. Either way, we each have a responsibility to support the economy and ecosystems we are in support of, and by doing so to the best of our abilities, we will create the world we wish to live in. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Day #10- PARIS!

Today was the day we got to take a day trip to Paris. It turned out to be a great day, but I was a bit skeptical in the beginning. To start the day off, we woke up at 3:30 a.m., yes I said a.m., and got in a cab at 4:30 a.m. to catch our train to Paris. When we arrived there, it was raining. We got soaked, I ended up having to stick my feet under a hand dryer at a restaurant we ate lunch at to try and dry my shoes a little. After that tho, it got better.  We ate some amazing crepes at the restaurant I dryed my feet in, and then the sun came out! We got to see The Louvre, which is where art such as the Mona Lisa is held, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, the Pont des Arts, also known as the Lock Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, and we got to walk down the Champs-Élysées! Everything was absolutely beautifulIt! The Eiffel Tower and Lock Bridge were my favorite. It was such a good experience, and I am now able to say I have been to Paris :). 
The HUGE Louvre.
The Lock Bridge!
The lock that Nick and I put on the Lock Bridge :). (Thanks Nobiling for talking us into it!)
Notre Dame
Delicious ham, egg and cheese crepe!
Walking down the Champs-Élysées!
The Arc de Triomphe (minus the construction) 
Eiffel Tower! 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Day #9- Supreme Court, nap time :)

Today was a pretty calm day, for me anyway.  First thing in the morning we got up and met our guide Maria at the Supreme Court building. We were taken inside and given a tour of the fairly new building. London's Supreme Court is fairly new, being incorporated into the system only in 2009.  Before they brought in a Supreme Court, the higher cases were taken to the House of Lords in the Houses of Parliament. 
After our tour of the Supreme Court, we went to lunch and then there was the legal walk. Because I am not a Criminal Justice major, and I have learned more about the subject in the last two weeks than I ever would have anywhere else, Professor Nobiling gave me an out. Soooo what do I choose to do all by myself with an afternoon in London?! Take a nap...duh! Best 4 hour nap ever, and just in time for Paris the next day. 
The Supreme Court building.
Beautiful carvings on the Supreme Court building, all the buildings here are so pretty!

Day #8- Trooping of the Color

Today we got the special treat of watching the Trooping of the Color practice. For those of you that don't know, Trooping of the Color is an annual event that is done to celebrate the Queen's birthday and has been done every year since the 1700's, but is always held in June (even though the Queen's birthday is not in June). Most people don't get to watch within the area of practice, but Constable Watson was nice enough to get us up close and personal! It was a very cool process, and the soldiers are very impressive in their discipline. One guy fainted due to the heat and excessive amounts of clothing involved in their uniforms, but Constable Watson informed us that it is not uncommon for 3-4 men to faint during the actual event. After the Trooping of the Color we went to the Metropolitan Police museum, it wasn't very big but was very cool! The man giving us information informed us that there used to be around 200 offenses that someone could be hung for in London.  The youngest person to be hung on record was a 10 year old boy, who was hung for stealing a handkerchief. 
One of the bands coming in for practicing the Trooping of the Color.
These soldiers has so much discipline! Very impressive, and there were a ton of them! 
The old uniforms of the Metropolitan Police.

Day #7

Day number seven we took a day trip to Stone Henge and the Roman Baths, they were amazing! Stone Henge is unbelievable, and I still can't quite wrap my head around how they built that so many years ago. Our tour guide, Sarah, told us that it was built around 4-5 thousand years ago. The holes that the stones are sat up in were dug with antler pics and cow shoulder blades! How is that even possible? After Stone Henge we moved onto the Roman Baths, which were also beautiful! The water in the Roman Bath is said to have healing powers and people used to bath in it and also drink it. We actually drank some, and no not the water people bathed in. There is still a hot spring flowing into it, and they had a convenient little water fountain with the spring water available to drink! It was actually really good, and very warm. After the wandering through the Roman Bath museum we were able to look around the town of Bath, but we were tired and took a nap on a little patch of grass in the middle of town instead :).
Stone henge! 
The Roman Bath, no we did not drink the green water.
Nick and I at the Roman Bath!
Drinking the healing water.
Nap in Bath, apparently I look like a pillow or something...

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Random Photos of our time in London!

This is the awesome Tower Bridge!  
Nick and I on our way to the Tower of London.
My roommates Mary and Jessica also on the way to the Tower of London.
A cute little flower Nick picked off of some random flower pot for me after I commented on how beautiful they are! 
We found Pepsi for the first time since we have been here!!! It really is the little things in life...